A Beginner’s Guide to Baccarat


The enigmatic card game of high-rollers in opulent casinos, baccarat exudes refinement and glamour. But it is also one of the most complex casino games to play, and it can be hard for newcomers to understand how it works. This article aims to break down the game of baccarat so that anyone can enjoy it, regardless of skill level or experience.

The game starts with players putting their bets down. They can choose to bet on the Player hand, the Banker hand or a Tie. The cards are then dealt, and whichever hand has the highest score wins the round. If the hand is a tie, the bets are returned to players.

Depending on the establishment or platform, there are several side bets that players can place in addition to player, banker, and tie bets. These bets are usually placed before the deal and pay out according to their odds.

When the dealer deals the two cards, the player and banker have to follow a set of rules that determine whether they should stand or draw. The goal is to have a hand that totals as close to nine as possible. Aces count as one point, cards from two through nine are worth their face value, and picture cards and tens have no points. In a ten-card hand, the second digit is added to the total; if the second digit is equal to or greater than 9, the hand wins.

A winning baccarat hand is the one with a total closest to nine. A nine-point hand is called a natural and is the most likely outcome. A seven-point hand is a close second and is also a natural. A six-point hand is a runner-up and can be a good bet, but a four-point hand should be avoided because it has a lower chance of winning.

The Player and Banker hands are compared, with the winner being whoever has a total closer to nine. The Player hand must hit if it has five or fewer points, while the Banker must hit if it has six or fewer. If a sixth-point hand is dealt, the Banker must draw an additional card.

In baccarat, the Banker has an edge over the Player hand, but it is not as large as in blackjack. The Tie bet, however, has a much higher house edge, so most serious players avoid it and stick to the Player and Banker bets.

Baccarat players should always set a budget for their gambling session and be sure to gamble responsibly. It’s best to start with a small amount and increase your wager as you gain confidence in the game. It is also a good idea to set win goals and stop playing when you have reached them.